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DT 26234

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26234

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ***

Giovanni has given us probably the most difficult puzzle of the week. Please remember that the gradings above are a personal opinion, i.e. just my view, which has no more validity than anyone else’s view, so let us know your opinion.
The answers, should you need to see them, are hidden inside the curly brackets. Just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets to reveal them.

Across Clues

1a  Increase attic space and make a lot of noise (5,3,4)
{RAISE THE ROOF} – a phrase meaning to make a lot of noise (generally by cheering) means, if taken literally, to increase attic space by expanding upwards.

9a  Arch-sounding lover (4)
{BEAU} – a slightly old-fashioned name for a male lover sounds like something in an arched  or curved shape.

10a  No vegetarian fellow given a job in London (9)
{BEEFEATER} – cryptic definition of the nickname of a yeoman warder in the Tower of London.

12a  Introductions when leader of ensemble enters concerts (6)
{PROEMS} – I’d not heard of this word meaning introductions or preludes. Put the first letter (leader) of Ensemble inside the popular name for the series of concerts founded by Sir Henry Wood which are held each summer in London.

13a  Sullen crooner getting cross inside (8)
{BROODING} – an adjective meaning sullen or dour is constructed by putting a type of cross found in a church inside the nickname of an American crooner and actor who died in 1977.

15a  Clown, crazy guy avoiding others in game (7,3)
{COCONUT SHY} – this game is a fairground attraction which enables you to demonstrate your prowess at throwing. It’s a charade of the name of a famous British clown, a slang term for a crazy person and an adjective meaning timid and reluctant to meet other people (avoiding others).

16a  Daughter not a nice person? How annoying! (4)
{DRAT} – a mild expletive (how annoying!) is made from D(aughter) followed by an informal term for a despicable person.

18a  A king given a black horse (4)
{ARAB} – string together A, R(ex), A and B(lack) to get a horse.

20a  Feeble new board — disastrous (10)
{LAMENTABLE} – an adjective meaning woeful or disastrous is constructed by putting together a synonym for feeble or unconvincing, N(ew) and the sort of board that you might have a meal served on.

23a  Granted that some carnal thoughts will come along (8)
{ALTHOUGH} – a conjunction meaning albeit or “granted that” will appear (come along) in the clue if you look carefully.

24a  Pontoon? It’s something played with cards (6)
{BRIDGE} – double definition – a structure of which pontoon is just an example (hence the question mark) is also the name of a card game.

26a  Eastern firm starts to sell products in this place where living is possible (9)
{ECOSPHERE} – a place where life can be sustained is constructed from E(astern), the abbreviation for a firm, the first letters (starts) of Sell Products and an adverb meaning in this place.

27a  Beastly females you and I discovered in English Society (4)
{EWES} – put the pronoun meaning you and I between E(nglish) and S(ociety).

28a  Alma-Ata — a tsar upset on account of creamy food (12)
{TARAMASALATA} – an anagram (upset) of ALMA-ATA A TSAR produces this pinkish creamy food. Alma-Ata is the old name for Almaty, the major city and former capital of Kazakhstan. This is some way from being the smoothest surface reading that Giovanni has ever produced.

Down Clues

2d  Meeting location — chaps will want a large cask brought round (8)
{ABUTMENT} – put a synonym for chaps inside A and a large cask, typically used for storing wine. This leads to an architectural term for the place where two pieces of a structure meet each other.

3d  Fees for players sitting on the bench (4)
{SUBS} – double definition, the first being an abbreviation for the payments (fees) you make to get an ongoing service (membership of a club or regular delivery of a magazine, for example).

4d  Divine rules established by Sixties pop group (10)
{THEARCHIES} – the definition is divine rules, i.e. governments by a god or gods. If you split it as 3,7 you get a “virtual” pop group of the sixties, which did not actually exist but which had real hits such as “Sugar, sugar”.

5d  Leader of Egypt getting endless fame in a previous age (3,3)
{ERE NOW} – the definition is a time in the past (a previous age). Start with the first letter (leader) of Egypt and add a synonym for fame with its final N dropped (endless).

6d  Rue toil, possibly, as one living a long way from work (7)
{OUTLIER} – an anagram (possibly) of RUE TOIL produces someone situated away from the centre of things.

7d  Met old man being entertained by Dad, bloke at the paper (12)
{FOREGATHERED} – the definition is met or assembled. Put O(ld) and the shortened form of a man’s name (Mr Perrin, perhaps) inside the more formal version of Dad, then end with the abbreviation for the top person at a newspaper (bloke at the paper being a disparaging but amusing description).

8d  That woman with nothing, nice at heart and courageous (6)
{HEROIC} – a word meaning courageous is made by stringing together a pronoun denoting that woman, O (nothing) and the central letters (at heart) of nICe.

11d  Spy escaping late after accident (7,5)
{SPECIAL AGENT} – an anagram (after accident) of ESCAPING LATE.

14d  They murder visitors crossing lake (10)
{STRANGLERS} – put the abbreviation for L(ake) inside visitors that are not known to you.

17d  Most unfriendly old author on street (8)
{STERNEST} – start with the author of Tristram Shandy and add the abbreviation for ST(reet).

19d  Fancy fur coat appearing in penultimate part of tragedy (3,4)
{ACT FOUR} – apparently, and I didn’t know this, according to Gustav Freytag’s analysis of Greek and Shakespearean plays all such dramas can be divided into five parts or stages. We want the penultimate part of such a play which is an anagram (fancy) of FUR COAT.

21d  Hound gets wild animal (6)
{BADGER} – double definition, the first a verb meaning to harass or hound.

22d  Two Brits getting a decoration (6)
{POMPOM} – take a Brit, as an Australian might describe him or her, and then take another one and you have a small fluffy ball which is attached to a garment as decoration.

25d  Fifty guided up valley (4)
{DELL} – put together the Roman numeral for fifty and a verb meaning guided and then reverse (up, in a down clue) the lot to get a small valley.

The clues I liked included 1a, 26a and 4d, but my favourite is 13a. What do you think? – leave us a comment!

30 comments on “DT 26234

  1. Great puzzle today from the Master. Difficult but on the whole fair – the exception to this probably being 5d – not nice!
    Learnt a new word in 12a but you can work it out from the clue. Difficult to identify the best clue but I liked 13a and 28a.
    Nice end to week after yesterdays horror.

  2. I enjoyed that, even though I didn’t finish it. But, if it’s a 4* difficulty, then I’m not at all displeased with having seven clues leftover, mostly in the NE corner. 12a was new for me too, but easily worked out. Some I liked were 10a, 15a and 16a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  3. I don’t agree that this was the hardest puzzle of the week. I thought yesterday’s was.

    I enjoyed it. apart from 28a. I thought that this was very clumsy srface reading, and not up to the usual standard.

    12a was also new to me, but, as Barrie says, it was easy enough to work out from the clue.

    I liked 1a, 15a and 4d.

  4. Definitely not the hardest puzzle of the week. Finished it quite quickly in under 10 mins, and learned a new word – 12a . Some nice clues to make you smile and others a little groan. Very enjoyable altogether.

    1. Sue
      We try not to mention solving times on the blog, because it can demoralise some solvers, but it’s fine to say that you finished it quite quickly. I took longer than any other puzzle this week, possibly because I’m suffering from sleep deprivation, having stayed up half the night watching the election results. :D

      1. Apologies – its what my husband refers to as my “eldest child – me first” syndrome. Even after all these years of doing the DT Cryptic, I still enjoy testing myself timewise. Having much more fun with them since I discovered this blog – thanks Big D.

  5. I must agree with the above – only a couple of brief stumbling blocks and completed slight slower than Sue.
    I certainly agree with you favourites though, gazza. Thanks for the review and thanks to Giovanni.

  6. Thoroughly enjoyable crossword from Giovanni, not too taxing but excellent fun. Favourites were 1a and 4d.

  7. I found this quite tricky in parts, and spent more time on this than I normally would on a Friday puzzle from Giovanni; not solving some of the longer clues early on didn’t help either.
    I read 20a slightly differently, and thought that the board/table synonym was to do with business affairs, rather than something to eat from, but I still got to the right answer! :) Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review.

  8. Enjoyable Friday but slightly longer than normal. Got stuck on 4d as hadn’t heard of the pop group (I was in Canada and Australia then) and new word for me was 12a but liked it.

    Did not like 5d as thought it was contrived.

    Thanks for the review Gazza – excellent as usual. Also thanks Giovanni for good Friday entertainment.

    BTW – well done Barrie – you are now enjoying Giovanni’s puzzles and it is good to hear.

    1. Thanks Lea, I think he is taking pity on me a bit though but very grateful for that all the same. :-)
      Incidentally I was at the studio at Teddington when The Archies were recording Sugar Sugar for TV and I can tell you, you didn’t miss much!

  9. I thought this was a bit of an odd one in that the range of difficulty was very broad – there were a few clues which I found very easy and a few which i found equally difficult. I think I prefer it when all the clues are of a similar standard of difficulty. This is probably a personal thing, though.
    I particularly didn’t enjoy 7 down as I really don’t like clues which involve a male/female name – there are so many possible names the answer nearly always has to be ‘reverse-engineered’, and I never find this satisfying.

    1. I so agree Freda! It is very frustrating – so many possibilities & not so much fun to work back from the answer. Started off very quickly but then slowed dramatically and finally came here for the last few. Some good ones – 1a, 15a & 26a and 28a is a big favourite with my son-in-law!

  10. Gazza
    Thanks for the clues I needed a few today, but where did you get the picture for 28a. hopefully not the White Horse
    I wouldn’t eat there it looks as though it’s been sat out for a couple of days.

  11. Needed help with 5d, and feel that 28a was too contrived to be worthy of inclusion in an otherwise fair and reasonably challenging puzzle. Being a Baby Boomer, I like 4d, though not the band in question.

  12. A better outing than yesterday, like geoff I was left with 7 to fill in before looking to the blog. Could have kicked myself on a couple e.g. 10a and had “deplorable” for 20a. Gee whiz! off for coffee and cake in the sun :-)

  13. Late today, didn’t start til this afternoon, found it ok am pleased to have finished it without the blog, especially as Gazza has given it 4*, although I didn’t use the blog my little electronic friend was working hard today!! Thanks to Gazza for the review, always good to read :)

  14. HOORAY! The month is up and my GP says I’m ok to drive again. Freedom at last!!

  15. I had fun with this today, and like Mary started late this afternoon. I managed to do round the edges quite fast and started to think, “This is easy, why the four stars?” Then, as I got towards the middle I became completely stuck and only managed to finish with the help of my own electronic friends. Except for 4d and 5d which the blog had to tell me. I also had ‘deplorable’ for 20a for a while, and got all biblical and put Ahab for 18a. Don’t know what he had to do with horses! 12a connected somehow with Milton in my mind. I thought 15a was a very good clue, but as an ex-pat Aussie, my favourite clue was 22d. :-)

  16. Hi – thanks for the review. Me and my mother-in-law finished this pretty fast, all except 4d that is!
    Liked quite a few clues a lot. 9a was good, as was 17d (I like the literary references).
    I had heard of 12a, but that didn’t stop me from staring at the letter proms + e for ages without seeing it!

  17. 12a was new to me too, but not impossible. I can’t help but think that I would’ve finished it a lot quicker if I didn’t have to go into the office today. Grr. I do find that work can get in the way a bit if you’re not careful.

  18. Many thanks to Giovanni for an interest puzzle. A couple slowed me down in the early hours as I watched the election results come in but overall, a nice challenge.

  19. Another enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni. I did not find this to be hard at all!
    I liked 1a, 10a, 13a, 15a, 20a & 28a. 2d, 4d, 7d, 19d & 22d.

  20. I didn’t find it easy and needed a little help :( The sad thing is that ‘Sugar Sugar’ is the first record I ever bought – having a third share with my mother and sister!!! It’s still one of my ‘Happy Songs’, how sad is that….?

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